I found the Yosemite Sweater pattern on Knitty years ago. A while after that (but still years ago), I bought shine worsted yarn intending to knit the sweater. Last August, I cast on the yarn for the project, and the months in-between have been an exercise in forbearance, persistence, and innovation.
Despite seemingly endless reviews about how the gauge was essentially impossible to replicate and a slew of frogged projects on Ravelry, I cast on fearlessly. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve made and remade this sweater. I would knit far along into the project only to realize I was making a gigantic sweater and rip the project back to the beginning. I would tweak something, like changing needle sizes or making a smaller pattern size, before casting on again. Again, I would have to rip back to the beginning. Sometime midwinter last year, I gave up and stashed it away because I could not get the pattern to work for me even after knitting an XS, and I am not an XS.
Early this fall in my mad dash of crafting, I busted out the project again and was determined to finish it… sans pattern. That’s right. I made up a pattern by knitting sections of the project, trying it on, and adjusting from there. A few times, I still needed to rip the project back to try a new approach, but I made true and genuine progress on it.
I made several modifications to the look of the sweater. I lengthened the sleeves so it would be a good fall/spring sweater. The sweater’s weight ended up too heavy for a summer sweater, so it made sense to have longer sleeves for more versatility. I also ditched the buttoned neckline because, frankly, I had no idea how to knit that without following the pattern (ha!). I made my decreases invisible where possible by decreasing the stitches in-between the ribbing and the right twists.
I think the sweater is lovely and cute, and my cats were more than happy to keep me company while I knitted away on it. Parts of the sweater were more challenging for me to make without a pattern, such as the sleeves, but it turned out well all the same. More than anything, though, I’m glad I finally, finally finished this project that I set out to do a long time ago. It may not be what I had quite intended years ago, but few things ever are.